Newly discovered 22ft Lokiceratops had 'largest frill horns ever' seen on a dinosaur

A new giant dinosaur with "the largest frill horns" ever seen among the prehistoric creatures has been discovered.

Resembling the build of a rhino, Lokiceratops rangiformis's fossils were unearthed in the US state of Montana.

The dinosaur, which roamed Earth nearly 78 million years ago, had a uniquely ornate frill with at least 20 horns on it, scientists said, and measured 22ft (6.7 meters) long.

Weighing around five-and-a-half tonnes, it used a powerful beak at the front of its mouth to graze on low-growing vegetation.

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The Lokiceratops was named after the Norse god Loki, who wielded weapons resembling the dinosaur's pair of blade-shaped horns, with each horn measuring about two feet.

Those are the largest frill horns ever observed on a dinosaur.

"The horns and frill were most likely used for display in Lokiceratops and other horned dinosaurs," paleontologist Joe Sertich, co-lead author of the study published in the journal PeerJ, said.

"These displays could have been used to intimidate rivals, attract mates or recognise members of the same species," Mr Sertich, of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and Colorado State University, said.

The Lokiceratops had two curving horns more than 16in (40cm) long above its eyes, small horns on its cheeks, and blades and spikes along its extended head shield.

The Lokiceratops was one of numerous species of horned dinosaurs, called ceratopsians, that roamed western North America during the Cretaceous Period - which lasted from about 145 to 66 million years ago - at a time when a large inland sea split the continent in half.

The blade-like horns also inspired the dinosaur's scientific name, which recognises the permanent home of the fossils at the Museum of Evolution in Denmark.

The name means "Loki's horned face" and "formed like a caribou," referring to the fact that its frill displays horns of different lengths on each side, like caribou antlers.